Forget “occupy.” The key is employees.

by Cinda Baxter on November 20, 2011

in Economy, Media, politics, Rant, Real life, Real World

I go to great lengths to keep politics out of the blog—would rather focus on the things small business owners have first hand control over than invite the “aromatic waft” accompanying most political debate these days. This morning, however, Bob Schieffer (host, Face the Nation, CBS) delivered an editorial that really resonates in my brick-and-mortar lovin’ heart: 

To say Congress is unpopular is about as surprising as saying the sun rises in the east, but we tip our hat to freshman Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado for doing the research that shows just how far Congress has fallen, and for pointing out that despite the excuse offered by some, this is not the way it has always been.

Ten years ago, as many as 65% of Americans actually liked their elected officials, but as Congress has gotten more and more dysfunctional, its popularity has fallen to today’s all time low–a 9% approval rating.

Even the hated IRS has an approval rating four times that [36%].

At the height of the oil spill, the BP oil company, at 16%, had a higher approval rating than Congress.

So does Paris Hilton, who scores 15%.

Mind you, these findings came before 60 Minutes aired the story a week ago revealing that Congress has given its members the right to use inside information not available to the public to buy and sell stocks and bonds. Until now, Congress’ response has been to ignore the criticism and concentrate on excuses–not to make the hard decisions on raising revenues and overhauling entitlement programs.

But when I look at these numbers, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to work for them.

And you know what? I hope it doesn’t.

Okay. Time for a little common sense.

An independent brick and mortar business is only as good as it’s least functional employee. Got a bad apple? That’s who drags the rest of your staff (and customers) down. Got a bunch of bad apples? That’s what closes your doors.

Now, think of the United States as a business run by hired employees (Congress). Next, ask yourself “What small business can keep their doors open with an abysmal 9% approval rating from its customers?”


If we (as the employers who hire Congress) don’t do a better job of staffing next fall, our “business” is in trouble.

Congress determines the course of our future—far more than any one individual in a Oval Office or in a financial center board room. So forget “occupy” anything. As employers, it’s our job to hire better staff.

As the saying goes, “The buck stops here.” Time to read some new resumés.


Cheri Bruning November 24, 2011 at 12:25 am


Melanie December 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Oh, I do love it! Way to turn the paradigm on its head, Cinda! I always like to change perspective, view things from a different angle and see what shows up.

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